A day after being released from prison, 52-year-old Mehmet Ali Agca who tried to kill Pope John Paul II in 1981, announced he wants to write the book “Vaticana Code” together with Dan Brown and then to shoot a movie based on it. He will sell his first interview for $1.855 million and Hollywood has offered to pay him $8 million to reveal attack details.
Agca spent the last 29 years in Turkish and Italian jails, where he served sentences for several crimes. In 1979, he fled a Turkish prison while waiting for trial for the crime of killing of Abdi Ipekci, editor-in-chief of the liberal newspaper Milliyet.
Two years later, in 1981, Agca was given a life sentence for attempting to murder the Pope who against strong odds, survived the attack after five hours of surgery. The Pontiff officially forgave his attacker in 1983.
Agca spent the next 19 years in Italian prison and was then extradited back to his motherland Turkey in 2000. In the meantime, the Turkish court diminished his sentence to 10 years in prison which expired on Jan 18 this year. In his police record are also two attempts for armed bank robbery.
In 2007, Agca converted to Christianity and became a Catholic.
Now the ex-prisoner is making bold plans for the future. Upon his release from jail, Agca proclaimed that the world would end during this century, that he was “Christ Eternal” and that he would write the “perfect Bible.”
Agca's lawyer, Ali Ozhan, has repeatedly said that his client has psychological problems after long years in prison.
Agca says that he is perfectly sane and promises never again to take a gun in his hands, due to religious considerations. Furthermore, he plans to visit Rome to meet Pope Benedict XVI and he expressed regrets for attempting to murder Pope John Paul II.
“I would not do it again. I feel no hatred for the pope. I feel only torment for what happened,” Agca said to The Sunday Times in 2000.
Experts are also confident that the former member of an ultra-nationalist group, called the Grey Wolves, has full control of the situation and speaks “nonsense” in order to protect himself and make profits out of his crimes.
“It’s morally wrong. Agca is just a bandit, a trained and paid killer who worked for a terrorist intelligence network,” said Paolo Guzzanti, head of an Italian parliamentary commission which confirmed in 2006 that the shooting on the pope was executed by secret services on the order of Soviet leaders, Times Online reported.
The media also quoted Judge Ferdinando Imposimato, one of the Rome prosecutors who investigated the assault.
“It’s horrifying and ridiculous that people could offer him money. It’s offensive to Pope John Paul ll and it could jeopardize what chances are left of finding out the truth. He could be tempted to say outrageous, untrue things just to get more money,” Imposimato said.
Italian leftist newspaper L’Unita reported that Agca’s credibility is quite low taking into consideration his latest statements.
“After his endless accounts and retractions, it appears useless to ask him to shed light on what really happened.”
Despite the longstanding mystery around the motive for Agca’s shooting the pope, Italian magistrates believe it was done by KGB aiming to silence the anti-communist pope out of fear that he could bring down the Soviet bloc by influencing his homeland Poland.
Last week, the Turkish killer announced he would give speeches on the attack during this month, and promised to unveil if ex-Soviet and Bulgarian governments were also involved in the case. His possible connections to Italian underground circles have also been cause for speculation.